According to the National Safety Council, 5,006 people died in truck accident cases in the United States in 2009. Of those, 71% were the drivers or occupants of other vehicles, 18% were truck occupants and 11% were bicyclists or pedestrians. More than 118,000 other victims were injured.
Cases that involve a semi pulling a trailer colliding with a passenger become highly complicated early on. Issues involving liability and the nature and extent of the damages suffered by victims can cloud cases. In most of them, a disposition that’s acceptable to both parties is reached, so the majority of the cases settle. In others, there might be a variety of reasons why those cases don’t settle, and they go to trial.
In either event, the importance of retaining an experienced and aggressive California truck accident lawyer is crucial. Martin Gasparian is a California truck accident lawyer and the founder of Maison Law. You’ll want to consult with and retain him as soon as possible if you were seriously injured, or you lost a loved on in a big rig accident anywhere in California.
Common Causes of Big Rig Accidents
There are a wide variety of causes that contribute to truck accidents, most of which are attributable to the big rig driver. Some others might involve issues like overloading, improper loading or the lack of maintenance, especially with brakes and tires. Here are some of the most common causes of truck crashes in California.
- Following too closely.
- Distracted driving.
- Fatigued or drowsy driving.
- Inexperienced or unqualified drivers.
- Overloading or failing to properly secure a load.
- Equipment failure.
- Improper maintenance.
Should we be able to prove that one or more of these were a cause of your accident and injuries in pretrial, the likelihood of going to trial is substantially diminished. Damages would be the remaining issue.
The Physics Involved in Semi-Trailer Accidents
A fully loaded semi-trailer will weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Couple that with its length of more than 70 feet and high speeds, and the big rig needs considerably more distance to come to a complete stop than a passenger car, especially if a roadway is wet. It’s far less maneuverable than a passenger car too. When they fail to stop or get out of the way of traffic ahead, they can pulverize a passenger car, leaving severe and permanent injuries or fatalities in their wake.
Proving Fault in a Semi-Trailer Crash Case
Several different legal entities might be involved in a truck accident case. In order to prove fault in such a case, you’ll need to prove that one or more of those entities were careless and negligent. Obtaining that evidence is critical in proving liability in a big rig accident case. Maison Law will conduct an in-depth investigation of the crash obtaining the following types of evidence to determine who might be at fault for it. Here is just some of the evidence that we’ll be closely examining:
- Truck data recorder evidence.
- Driver log books.
- Records of all truck maintenance and inspections.
- Statements of any eyewitnesses.
- Any photographic evidence or dashboard, traffic or security camera footage of the crash.
- Detailed police accident reports.
- Admitting violations of state laws and federal trucking regulations in other courts or agencies.
- Results of any toxicology exam reports.
- Any coroner’s reports in the event of one or more fatalities.
Don’t Communicate with Opposing Insurance Companies After a Truck Crash
One or more insurance companies will be involved in a truck crash. You’re forewarned not to speak with an opposing insurance company about your accident or injuries without legal representation. What you say can be used against you in a trial, and your claim can be denied, or your compensation can be drastically reduced. By retaining Maison Law as soon as possible after your accident, you’ll prevent the chance of any innocent miscommunication or misstatement made by you to an opposing insurer being used against you.
No party to a big rig accident case wants to go to trial. They’re expensive, time consuming and there’s substantial risk involved too. None of the lawyers involved know what 12 people on a jury are thinking, and none of the parties want a bad verdict either. A good settlement is far better than a bad verdict. At Maison Law, we prepare every case as if it’s going to trial though. All details of your case are prepared and in line for admission into evidence. We make sure that you’re fully prepared to testify on your own behalf too. Contact us at Maison Law after being injured or losing a loved one in any semi-trailer accident. We’ll arrange for a free consultation and case review with our California truck accident lawyer. Your questions will be answered, and you’ll be given an experienced professional opinion on how you should proceed. You’ll want to retain a lawyer to represent you who is fully prepared and knows your case inside out, whether it settles or goes to trial.